San Mateo County voters have a full ballot for the June primary election with a few new faces stepping up to challenge the incumbents.
Not counting the state and federal positions representing San Mateo County, voters will weigh in on 16 positions located here. Of those, it appears that six have more than one contender, according to the roster of qualified candidates as of the end of the filing period 5 p.m. Friday.
The primary June 3 marks the first time county supervisors will be elected by residents in their individual districts rather than by voters countywide. The charter change was made in part to encourage diversity and lower the high financial bar for potential candidates but this initial outing has failed to drum up new blood.
Supervisor Carole Groom is running against challenger Mark de Paula to maintain her District Two office. Groom said she wants another term for several reasons many which include continuing work with parks, childhood reading and implementing the Affordable Health Care act and mental health programs. She also enjoys the variety of the work.
“I’ve done a lot of things but the primary ones are kids, health care and parks,” she said. “We have a great county in which to live, work and raise a family. I want to continue to keep San Mateo County healthy and safe.”
De Paula, 58, is retired from telecommunications and industrial coatings and said if elected he promises to only serve one term.
“Then I’ll let somebody else come on in so we don’t get into these little fiefdoms or kingdoms,” De Paula said.
He wants to address the thousands of uninsured residents, bring undocumented workers into the system by teaching them how to write contracts and improve veterans’ services. He also suggests more transparency through quarterly or even bi-yearly audits of supervisorial decisions.
Supervisor Don Horsley is also running for re-election in District Three and is opposed by Michael G. Stogner, a victim’s advocate who has moved within the county several times in the past to accommodate his previous challenges to supervisors in different districts.
Like Groom, Horsley hopes to continue his ongoing work like farm labor housing and solving coastside flooding.
“I love what I do and I want to finish all of the projects that my office has been working on,” Horsley wrote in an email to the Daily Journal.
Horsley said he doesn’t anticipate campaigning differently in district elections aside from possibly more precinct walking in San Carlos. The spread-out coastside doesn’t make as much sense, Horsley said, adding that he appears at enough forums to educate those residents about his priorities.
Mark Church, chief elections officer and assessor-county clerk-recorder, is running for re-election and is challenged by John K. Mooney who ran as a write-in candidate against him in 2010.
Coroner Robert Foucrault is challenged by small businessman Rick Dalton. Dalton, 48, said he is running to make a difference and advocate for families and loved ones in their most desperate need and time and during a time of the county being in the midst of “significant personnel growth.” If elected, Dalton said he will bring a key attribute of “fiscal conservancy” although he notes not being aware of any financial issue with the office at this time.
Foucrault, who has been the coroner since 2001, is emphasizing his experience with “some extremely challenging events” like the San Bruno gas line explosion and Asiana Airlines crash along with his relationships with law enforcement.
District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe, Sheriff Greg Munks, Treasurer-Tax Collector Sandie Arnott and County School Superintendent Anne Campbell are all running without challenge for re-election.
Like most incumbents seeking to stay, Wagstaffe said he’s motivated for a second term by wanting to continue the office’s legacy of prosecution with “high integrity.” He would also like to do more community outreach, continue serving victims and focus on environmental cases.
Arnott, who took the office three years ago, said she hopes voters have been pleased with her efforts including the establishment of remote tax payment locations and a live chat feature on the website. Arnott said her primary focus is replacing the aging tax system with one shared by the controller, assessor and tax collector which she estimates to take about four years to implement.
Controller is the only county government position with an open seat because current Controller Bob Adler, appointed to finish out his predecessor’s term, is retiring. The options are Joe Galligan, a former Burlingame mayor who unsuccessfully challenged Arnott for treasurer-tax collector, and Assistant Controller Juan Raigoza. Raigoza, 47, has worked in the Controller’s Office for 13 years and has Adler’s backing, according to his campaign.
San Mateo County also have two contested judicial races, a bit of a rarity. Judge Beth Labson Freeman’s appointment to the U.S. District Court leaves her seat open and defense attorney Jeff Hayden and Commissioner Susan Greenberg are running to fill the spot. The upcoming retirement of Judge Craig Parsons leaves another open seat which is being sought by prosecutor Stephanie Garratt. Daly City Councilman Ray Buenaventura and Christiana State, a temporary judge in small claims for Santa Clara County Superior Court, pulled papers but have until next Wednesday to qualify because the lack of an incumbent seeking re-election extends the deadline.The remaining judges up for re-election — Joseph Bergeron, Richard DuBois, Don Franchi, Jonathan Karesh, Steven Dylina and Elizabeth Hill — have no opposition.
Voters in the Sequoia Union High School District will also consider a $265 million bond measure on the June ballot. The measure is aimed at tackling overcrowding and enrollment grown. To pass, the measure needs a 55 percent yes vote. Half Moon Bay voters will also choose which option they would like for the Main Street Bridge — replacing it or preserving it.
Aside from the local offices, voters also have representatives in Congress and the state Legislature to pick.
U.S. Rep. Jackie Speier, D-San Mateo, is facing opposition from Michael Moloney — a past and frequent opponent — and Robin Chew and Oscar Alejandro Braun.
Braun is also running for the 18th District seat held by U.S. Rep. Anna Eshoo, D-Palo Alto. Rounding out that ballot is Chris Drew, Robert B. Ostenberg, Richard B. Fox and Bruce Anderson.
The 19th district seat is sought by Assemblyman Phil Ting, D-San Francisco, and Renato G. Pineda.
State Assemblyman Kevin Mullin, D-South San Francisco, is squaring off with Mark Gilham and Jonathan Emmanuel Madison in the 22nd District.
State Assemblyman Rich Gordon, D-Menlo Park, is running against Greg Coladonato in the 24th District.
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